Tuesday, 17 May 2016


Sandwood Bay
Am Buachaille sea stack from Sandwood
More beaches
Sun setting on Sandwood
Stunning light
Day two, to Cape Wrath. Torridonian Sandstone
More deserted Bays
Cape Wrath getting closer
Anemone nemorosa  (wood anemone)
Journeys end
Silene acaulis (moss campion)
Cape Wrath lighthouse
It has been a fabulous week of hot, clear weather in The Highlands of Scotland. We've enjoyed hotter temperatures than Spain at times and the west coast saw temperatures hitting 27 degrees. We journeyed to the far north west coast last Saturday for a mini backpacking trip from Kinlochbervie to Cape Wrath taking in the glorious sandy beaches of Sandwood Bay. On Sunday the weather had taken a dive, being much cooler and cloudy. From Kinlochberive to Sandwood Bay it is now a good path, much improved over the years and is a stroll, well with small day sacks anyway. It's been over 15 years since I last walked to Sandwood, one of the most beautiful beaches in the UK. We had the whole place to ourselves, arriving late afternoon. After we pitched the tent and had dinner we were treated to a wonderful sunset. This far north doesn't see darkness till after 10.30pm. Monday morning dawned with light drizzle and heavy cloud. Despite this, the views all the way along to Cape Wrath were clear. We actually enjoyed dry weather the rest of the day. The route along the impressive cliff tops to the Cape Wrath lighthouse is mostly pathless and very rugged with a fair few ups and downs. The Cape Wrath Trail is fast becoming a  popular long distance walk. Most folk take two weeks to do this but it is not a waymarked route and it has many variations. I have guided the entire route three times, many years ago when it was only just conceived and no guidebooks. It is one of the most dramatic, at times remote walks with stunning scenery. Starting in Fort William to the very far North West point of  the British mainland. It takes in some of the finest mountain scenery in Scotland including Morar, Knoydart, Glen Shiel, Glen Carron, Torridon, Fisherfield Forest, Coigach, Assynt and Sutherland.  If you are thinking of walking it unsupported then it requires some thoughtful planning, organisation and probably a big rucksack! We saw no one all day until our final footsteps to the recently opened 'Ozone' Cafe at the lighthouse, probably the most remote cafe in Britain?. Must do the full Cape Wrath Trail again sometime.......

No comments: